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L.A. Unified Sees Success in Counseling Rather Than Arresting Truants and Kids Who Fight

Just before 8 a.m. at Peary Middle School in Gardena, a boy was refusing to leave his mother’s car. The school police officer on duty could have barked orders at him to get to class. He could have written him up for truancy. He could have forcibly moved him — as a South Carolina police officer did to a student last month, sparking a national uproar.

But Los Angeles Unified School Police Officer Henry Anderson did none of that. Instead, he tried to cajole the boy with friendly persuasion and ever-so-subtle appeals to guilt.

“What’s up, man?” the lean and lanky officer said, greeting the boy. “You’re all dressed up and ready to go. C’mon.”